Market future is secured

IPSWICH market's long-term future was finally settled today as its presence on the Cornhill was confirmed with the signing of a long-term lease.After years of debate and negotiation, the market traders and Ipswich Council signed a lease for the market to remain in the heart of the town centre.

IPSWICH market's long-term future was finally settled today as its presence on the Cornhill was confirmed with the signing of a long-term lease.

After years of debate and negotiation, the market traders and Ipswich Council signed a lease for the market to remain in the heart of the town centre.

And its marketing and promotion will be taken over by the Ipswich Partnership - hopefully leading to a major expansion of the market during 2006.

The move marks the end of four years of uncertainty, which began with The Evening Star's successful campaign in 2002 which led to its move to the Cornhill.

The market traders' co-operative that has operated the market for some years has been granted a secure licence for a minimum period of 15 months.

It will be able to increase in size by expanding into Lloyds Avenue and Princes Street.

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Ipswich Partnership is to guide improvements and entice new traders.

Partnership head Paul Clement said: “This is a great day for Ipswich and both the Council and the traders are to be congratulated for their approach which has made this deal possible”

Traders' spokesman Mike Young said he was delighted to finally reach the end of a long road of negotiation - and is looking forward to the market's expansion.

He said: “I know there are traders out there who want to come into Ipswich and have been concerned about the lack of certainty about the future of the market.

“Hopefully this will make it more attractive for those who are interested in coming into the town. We hope to see some expansion very soon.”

And Richard Atkins from Ipswich council was also delighted that the future had now been settled.

He said: “It's been a long time coming but it's good that we have finally reached this stage. We now look forward to the market's expansion and becoming even more important for the town.

“I would like to pay tribute to the Star and its readers for backing the market so much from the start of this struggle which has resulted in today's final agreement.”

nDo you welcome the expansion of the market? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

What the agreement means:

nTraders have a long-term agreement to stay on the Cornhill.

nMarket can expand up Lloyds Avenue, down Princes Street, along Westgate Street and Tavern Street.

nElectricity sub-station in the middle of the market should be moved to create space for the bandstand.

nMore opportunities for other stalls, including the possibility of a monthly farmers' market, a French-style market, and a craft market.

nThe Angel statue under the Lloyds Avenue arch is to be moved to make more space for stalls.

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